I'm Tonia and this is my family. There's Hubs, my wonderful partner; Bug, my darling daughter; and Boo, my charming son. We are the Collins clan. We are a homeschooling family who try our best to live out God's will for our lives every day. There are lots of stumbles along the way, but we love each other and this little life we're carving out for ourselves. Recently we found ourselves called to make some big changes in our lives so we're packing up the McMansion and moving out to a little farm in need of a lot of TLC. We have tons to learn and tons to do and we invite you to share the journey as we turn our not-so-new heap into a home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bartering for Beauty {And the Giveway Winner!!}

Congratulations Lisa Thomas! You won the hand knit scarf!

What do you do if you need something done that you really can't do yourself, but you have no cash for it? Barter, of course!  Although most of the younger generation hasn't really made use of bartering to get needs met, our grandparents and great-grandparents did it often. I was pretty excited to find a group awhile back who is trying to bring bartering back so I joined.right away. I've been able to barter some pretty cool things:

I traded some glass water bottles we weren't using for a cast iron griddle just like my daddy used to make pancakes on. I've wanted one for a long while, but couldn't justify spending money for it.

I had a freezer full of grass fed beef that was way more than I needed, so I traded some for pantry items I needed. I filled up my pantry with several months of essentials- flour, rice, peanut butter, chocolate chips, etc.

But today, I'm going to share my hands-down favorite barter so far.

When Whitney at Handcrafted posted that she wanted to barter photography for grass fed beef, I was giddy. It had been a long, long time since I'd had professional pictures of the kids done and even longer since we'd had family pictures done, but such things are just not in our budget. 

I've always loved pictures where old, rustic things look beautiful and meaningful and I hoped that the Heap would provide that kind of background.

I'm not going to lie. There was a bit of nerves about having someone we didn't know come out to the Heap- there always is. As much as I'd like to say I'm just completely comfortable where I am, there are still times when I feel embarrassed about how things are and wish like crazy for how they will be....someday. Would she see the beauty we do? Would she see our purpose and our passion?

All those worries melted away when we met Whitney. She was so sweet and friendly and she saw potential when she looked at the Heap- everything I prayed for. She spent time just walking the property and looking for the perfect places and when she started shooting she made us feel comfortable and like our lifestyle was amazing and lovely.

Her pictures are so gorgeous and I couldn't be happier. They show the Heap for what it is- home. Home, where my family is being knit together like never before and life is becoming more than I knew it could be. I am so grateful to have these amazing works of art.

Thank you Whitney!!


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